Written by on November 15, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on “G19” world leaders to end the Russian invasion, with deliberate intent to snub Moscow at the G20 summit.

Zelensky appeared in a video speech made to leaders gathered for the summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Russia a G20 member had Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov standing in for the President who was conspicuously missing.

The Ukrainian President also pleaded for an extension of a Ukrainian grain export deal which is due to expire soon. The grain export deal as agreed to by Russia with the United Nations is to allow for a ceasefire in the black sea region to enable tons of grains to be exported to ease the growing food challenge faced by the rest of the world over grain shortages owing to the Russia-Ukraine war.

A draft G20 declaration, seen by news agencies, said “most” countries strongly condemned the Ukraine war and agreed it was exacerbating fragilities in the global economy. It also stressed that the use or threat of nuclear weapons by Russia was “inadmissible”.

In his speech, President Zelensky said:

I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped.

He outlined a number of strategies, including ensuring nuclear and food safety, ending hostilities, and preventing escalation.

He repeatedly addressed the leaders as the “G19”, deliberately excluding Russia.

Chief among his requests was an extension of what is known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative which was struck in July between the United Nations and Russia.

It ensured that food exports blocked at Ukrainian ports by Russian warships could be shipped out.

The UN says since the deal began, about 10 million tonnes of grain and other foods have been exported, preventing a global food crisis. But the deal expires on 19 November. Zelensky said the deal should be extended indefinitely no matter when the war ends.

While proposing to expand the deal to other ports in the Mykolaiv region, Zelensky said:

The right to food is a fundamental right of every person in the world.

Additional Information was from the BBC

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